Written by: Wab Kinew
Illustrated by: Joe Morse
For ages: 5-9 years
Topics Covered: Indigenous Voices, Native Heroes, Historical Events, Historical Figures, First Nations.
Summary: This book pairs beautiful illustrations with spare lyrical prose, sharing names and basic information about indigenous heroes across North America. Kinew’s words also form the basis for a rap song highlighting the endurance and strength of these historical figures. By learning about these figures, children of all backgrounds, particularly indigenous and First Nations, will recognize and understand their own power and potential for impacting the world. Some individuals mentioned are Carey Price, Waneek Horn-Miller, Pegahmagabow, Jim Thorpe, and Crazy Horse. In the back of the book is an Author’s Note, where Kinew impresses the message of understanding and celebrating the indigenous communities that exist within North America. After the Author’s Note is a short biography about every person mentioned in the book! Name, lifespan, tribal affiliation, and a short biography is accompanied by a beautiful illustration of the individual.
- Why do you think that the author chose these individuals to represent the native and indigenous experience?
- Do you know any indigenous historical figures that you would include?
- Is there any characteristic or similarity between all of the individuals in the book?
Continuing the Conversation:
- Pick one person mentioned in the book and learn more about them! Share what you learned that is not mentioned in the book with the rest of your class.
- Which figure’s story impacted you the most? Which one did you feel a connection with, and why do you think that is?
- Learn about the indigenous history of your community. What tribes have history around you, and is there a strong native presence in your community today? Why or why not do you think that is?
About the Author & the Illustrator:
Wab Kinew is the leader of Manitoba’s New Democratic Party. Prior to his career in politics, Kinew was a hip hop musician and broadcaster, hosting the CBC series 8th Fire and Canada Reads in 2015. As a panellist on CBC’s battle of the books, Kinew won the 2014 edition for his defence of Joseph Boyden’s The Orenda.
Kinew is the author of two books: The Reason You Walk, a memoir about mending his relationship with his father before his death, and Go Show the World, a children’s picture book about Indigenous heroes throughout history.
Joe Morse’s work has been recognized with over 200 international awards. Joe’s art has been exhibited in Italy, the US and Canada and commissions have included posters, billboards, coins, apparel, books and a bus. He is also included in Taschen’s 2 volume book, 100 Illustrators.
Joe lives in the great city of Toronto. He is currently the Coordinator of the Honours Bachelor of Illustration Program at Sheridan College in Oakville Canada.